Meat and poultry foods processorHormel Foods Corporation, Austin, Minn.,  said it is the first manufacturer to achieve full certification in category management from theCategory Management Association(CMA).

Founded in 2004, CMA is the first and only group to certify companies as well as individuals in category management according to recognized industry-wide standards. Hormel said CMA standards were developed by a steering committee comprised of veteran category management professionals from CPG companies, retailers and research organizations.

Individual certification is based on a combination of experience and formal training. There are three levels for individual certification: Certified Professional Category Analyst (CPCA), Certified Professional Category Manager (CPCM), and Certified Professional Strategic Advisor (CPSA). There are a total of 33 training modules across these three certification levels, with 10 at the Analyst level, 15 at the Manager level, and eight at the Strategic Advisor level.

More than 25 Hormel Foods category management professionals have been recognized with individual certifications.

To achieve corporate certification, the Certification Evaluation Board, the independent entity dedicated to managing CMA’s certification process, carefully reviewed the category management training programs at Hormel Foods, as well as the methodologies and metrics used by the company to ensure they meet the standards set by CMA. Hormel Foods is the first manufacturer to have all 33 training modules certified.

“Our category management professionals at Hormel Foods are dedicated to providing objective insights and recommendations to our retail partners in an effort to grow total category sales and better serve shoppers,” said Bob Samples, Hormel's director of category planning and support. “This certification validates our work and demonstrates our commitment to being a leader in category management.”

TheGreater Boston Chamber of Commerce(GBCC) will honorCedar’s Mediterranean Foods, Inc.  at GBCC's annualSmall Business of the Year Awardson October 14, 2010 at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. Cedar’s processes Mediterranean products such as hommus, pita chips, fresh salads, and tzatziki. The company earned GBCC's 2010 “Award for Business Excellence,” which recognizes Cedar's business excellence, support of the local community, and the contributions of its employees, officials said.